Growing up spring always meant a trip to the nursery or garden shop to pick out flowers for the raised beds in my parent’s backyard. My little sister and I would wander through the rows, navigating bags of mulch or potting soil and make suggestions to my mom about what we thought looked nice. My suggestions were often refuted as I almost always failed to pay attention to the sun/shade requirements. In the end we’d each pick out a couple of pansies or black eyed susans that we particularly liked and then it was back home to plant.
Even as a child I never enjoyed playing in the dirt. When it came to digging holes and placing our flowers in the raised beds, I always wanted work gloves and a large trowel. Heaven help us all if I dug up a worm. Our pansies and mums always looked so small, almost lonely in the large beds- spread apart and dug in. But of course as the summer went on, they bloomed and spread out in a colorful sea.
I guess that’s why whenever April and May roll around and the stores begin putting out displays of flowers for planting I get a tiny tingle and start to consider. Maybe this year I’ll put a couple flower pots out on the deck. Maybe I’ll grow some herbs. Maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow with the skill of Martha Stewart. The truth is I have a black thumb. I have exactly one plant in my house, a bamboo that requires little to no care and only an inch of water. Even that I’ve had some close calls with. So I’ll continue to leave the planting to my parents who have moved on from flower gardens to vegetable. I’ll gratefully enjoy the salsa and fresh asparagus when I visit and I’ll admire the flower displays from afar.